“This didn’t happen by accident,” Stephen Moore, co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, told National Review in a recent interview.
In September, Moore joined with Larry Kudlow and Brooke Rollins, who is president and CEO of the America First Policy Institute, to launch the Save America Coalition — a collection of roughly 70 conservative groups that held meetings twice a week to strategize.
How the Conservative ‘Save America Coalition’ Helped Kill Build Back Better
The coalition, which takes its name from a phrase Kudlow coined on his Fox Business show – “Save America, kill the bill,” — first set out to spend $10 million on its efforts but has come in closer to $20 million as of last week, Rollins told National Review.
Twenty groups have helped lead the “Save America” Coalition, including Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Tax Reform, Center for Renewing America, Committee to Unleash Prosperity, Freedom Works, Heritage Action, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Goldwater Institute, Independent Women’s Forum and Job Creators Network.
“Everyone thought it was inevitable” that the bill would pass, Rollins said.
They held a “Republicans for Manchin” event last week before Manchin made his announcement.
A huge part of the efforts was just educating people on what was actually in the bill, including using a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last weekend.
“And people don’t want trillions of dollars of more spending.”
“It was quite a conservative victory and it didn’t happen by accident,” he said. “It was really, I think, a result of this coalition effort.”
“Finding the weak spots and really penetrating those and pounding them, I think, really had a big impact,” Moore said. “I don’t think most people six months ago would have thought that this bill was defeatable.”
But Kudlow argues the “hero of ‘Save America, kill the bill’” is Manchin.
“Make no mistake about that,” Kudlow said. “Joe Manchin, who is very brave, stood up for his principles and was absolutely consistent for the last six months.”
Still, Kudlow said the content of the bill made it “relatively easy” to pull the coalition together.
“This was all the marbles on the line. This was the left-wing, socialist vision and we wanted to beat it,” he added. “As it turns out, so did everybody else.”